Gov. Haley wants to stop Bikefest, AB mayor vows to keep it - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Gov. Haley wants to stop Bikefest, Atlantic Beach mayor vows to keep it

Governor Haley speaks before the Atlantic Beach town council. (Source: Lauren Weppler) Governor Haley speaks before the Atlantic Beach town council. (Source: Lauren Weppler)
Gov. Haley meets with Atlantic Beach town officials. (Source: Lauren Weppler) Gov. Haley meets with Atlantic Beach town officials. (Source: Lauren Weppler)
Atlantic Beach officials meet before Haley arrives. (Source: Lauren Weppler) Atlantic Beach officials meet before Haley arrives. (Source: Lauren Weppler)
Atlantic Beach Mayor Jake Evans vows to keep Bikefest. (Source: Lauren Weppler) Atlantic Beach Mayor Jake Evans vows to keep Bikefest. (Source: Lauren Weppler)

ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Governor Nikki Haley still vows to put an end to Atlantic Beach's annual Memorial Day weekend Bikefest, and the town's Mayor still vows to keep it.

Gov. Haley met with Mayor Jake Evans and the Atlantic Beach town council Tuesday morning in a meeting that lasted about 15 minutes. The Chief of the State Law Enforcement Division, and the Director of Parks and Tourism came with Haley to address questions the council might have had.

"I want to have a frank conversation," Gov. Haley began. "I see value in Atlantic Beach, I see opportunity in Atlantic Beach, but something has to change."

She proposed to the council to work with her to restore Atlantic Beach to its "former glory" of the 1930s and 1940s.

"I would like to propose to you, to work with you, that we find away to change the event that happened that's known as Bikeweek," she said. "I would like to propose to you that I work with you that we take it back to the Atlantic Beach of the 40's. We take it back where it was a happy place for families. Where you had ferris wheels, and restaurants, and hotels and people came."

"Your neighbors are having to deal with the violence and cleanup of Bikefest," she continued. "Please help make it stop."

She called on the council to put an end to Bikefest, and said it's not the bikers, but the lawlessness and disrespect for the entire region. She added that she wanted to meet with the council on a continual basis, and promised Atlantic Beach will see the same revenue from Bikefest if they bring in another event.

She then asked the council for any questions they may have, and was met with silence. The council did not ask any questions of Gov. Haley, the Chief of SLED, or the Director of Parks and Tourism.

Mayor Evans said he will meet with the council to set up another meeting with the governor within a month, and added that he, "still vows to keep Bikefest."

In addition to Gov. Haley, State leaders: Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation; Mark Keel, SLED Chief; and Leroy Smith, director South Carolina Department of Public Safety attended the session.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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